Ins & Outs of Barbados 2023

38 At a Glance Most potato-based vodkas are made with English potato. An English potato has 70% water and 30% starch. With a little research, Raymond Thompson, the founder and master distiller, realised that sweet potatoes are much higher in starch. A BAJAN DEFINITION FOR A BAJAN VODKA This fact peaked Raymond’s interest because the fermentation of alcohol occurs when starches are converted to sugar. He then looked at the few other sweet potato vodkas in the world and noticed that they tended to use the high sugar, lower starch Carolina sweet potato. The local Barbados sweet potato has the opposite profile with higher starch content along with good simple sugars. Raymond figured that this unique raw material had the potential to create a unique finished vodka. An empty gas tank put me on the journey to ‘Katspraddle’. I started trying to ‘collifox’ some sweet potato into a little fuel. But that fuel smelt too sweet... - inspiration hit andwe got Katspraddle Vodka. -Raymond Thompson Founder &Master Distiller Once Raymond got the idea to make a vodka from his sweet potato experiment, he turned to his friends for help and quickly found a home to start working on the ideas. A little space was carved out on a friend’s family farm and the potatoes were designated for Vodka - indeed, this space remains in use today as the farmer has been growing sweet potatoes for over 35 years, resulting in a highly consistent product across all seasons. The original set of equipment was another experiment. Some would call it ‘collyfoxing’ but this was Raymond’s engineering skills coming to the rescue. Katspraddle circa 2017